Thursday, 21 January 2016

Kerfala Kanté - L'Oiseau de Sankara (1992, K7)

After going around our globe, back to a K7 from Guinee, one from Kerfala Kanté, nicknamed 'the bird of Sankara'. Bought this one because it looked good, and well I was right and lucky, his debut solo K7 and one of his best!
Kerfala, born 1959 in Koumandikoura in a musical family, is a multi instrumentalist, playing balafon and acoustic guitar when he was just 15. Later on also kora and he joined both the Tropical Djoli Band and Balla et ses Balladins, before going solo. He could make this first K7 with some help from the Guinean Radio (RTG).

Here's the opening song of the K7:

His place of birth, Koumandikoura, is not far from Faranah, a town which I visited in 1993/94. Faranah is most 'famous' for being the birthplace of Sékou Touré, the former president of Guinee from 1958 till 1984. During his presidency he arranged quit some development in Faranah, like a conference centre and a palace.
At my visit I stayed in his former palace, which was transformed into the town's main hotel. The building was very nice, the highest in town, so with beautiful views over Faranah and surroundings. The rooms were big, the bathroom the size of a normal living room and fully equipped with all available sanitary fixtures.
Just one main problem was, that nothing worked, you couldn't get one drop of water out of the shiny taps. So showering, as I was used to in Guinee, with bucket and drinking cup, which I didn't and don't mind, but felt pathetic in the middle of such a luxurious bathroom. Unfortunately didn't make a single picture from the hotel, so only have my memories.

Well back to Kerfala Kanté, some info about him:
-short bio from musiques-afrique
-portrait par Justin Morel (who wrote many sleevenotes for the Syliphone label)
-interview (in french) from 2010 with Bamako Hebdo

KERFALA KANTE - L'Oiseau de Sankara (1992, K7, BGDA91007)

Enjoy listening to this bird!!  And always EAT THEM RAW!!


  1. Thanks for this ep but have you '' l'oiseau de sankara vol 2 '' which was publised in 1994 ?

  2. => Daft John,
    Glad you love it, it's good music to ride your bike with!
    => anonymous,
    Unfortunately have only this K7 from Kerfala Kanté, bur like to hear more.

    So if anybody has more, please don't hesitate to contact me here.

  3. What a great tape! I went straight back to the beginning and played it again as soon as it finished. A big shout out to 'Ramata Camara of Conakry' (whoever she is) for inspiring the slightly-crazy, faster-than-is-comfortable, track 4 ;-)

    It's just a pity the tracks are all cut so short - the last one in particular seems to fade out while he's still in full flight. I'd love to hear an 8-minute version of that one! (And vol.2 if it ever turns up!!)

    Welcome to the blogosphere, and thank you for these great Guinean K7s.


    1. =>David,
      Glad you like it, and thanks for listening listening so close to the lyrics. Didn't notice Ramata Camara's name myself, seems a common name in Conakry, Guinee.